Your TV Is Brainwashing You

People across the world are taking cues from their favorite television shows.

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(Image credit: G. Schuster)

In Ireland, thanks in part to the arrival of Sex and the City, vodka has overtaken whiskey as the spirit of choice.

A dramatic drop in Brazil's birthrate over the past four decades, from 6.3 to 2.3 children per woman, is partly attributed to wildly popular soap operas that portray small families.

B'tipul, the original, Israeli version of HBO's In Treatment, has resulted in a spike in the number of Israelis seeking therapy, and a rise in hourly rates.

Americans who regularly watch TV shows about plastic surgery are more likely to have some kind of cosmetic procedure.

Local media report that the arrival in China of the show Friends caused fans to imitate the characters' lifestyles by finding apartments close to each other.

The government of Bhutan (slogan: "Gross National Happiness"), which only recently allowed broadcast television in the tiny Buddhist country, has banned MTV and World Wrestling Entertainment, blaming them for an increase in violence among children.